This week, both Boeing and Airbus announced cuts to monthly production rates of their respective wide-body jets. The Companies have cited a decrease in demand for their long-range, wide-body jets as airlines have opted for smaller, twin-engine jetliners and the cargo market has proven less robust than expected. In response, Airbus will decrease production of the A330 to 9 per month in 2015 with further cuts planned for 2016.
In the wake of Chuck Hagel’s resignation, President Obama formally nominated Ashton Carter as his candidate for Secretary of Defense early next year, pending Senate confirmation. Carter served as the Undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics from 2009 to 2011 before being appointed Deputy Defense Secretary, where he served as the Pentagon’s number 2 civilian officer until December 2013.
Given these dynamics, agencies are embracing technology in order to continue innovating with fewer resources. For example, the General Services Administration’s (“GSA”) Network Services 2020 (“NS2020”) strategy envisions a converged IP environment with common, core security standards through an array of modern telecommunications and IT service offerings, which will be achieved through a Government-wide marketplace for data and commodity services. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (“VA”) also recently announced a restructuring plan, in which the Secretary of the VA identified a shared services plan as one of the top four changes to be implemented.
This week saw two transformational leadership announcements. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, resigned from office Monday afternoon in a move prompted by weeks of disagreement with the current Administration.
The Department of Defense (“DoD”) announced Monday that Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. was awarded contract modifications with the U.S. Army and Navy worth upwards of $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2015. The Army’s contract modification, scheduled to be complete in June, is for $779.1 million and includes 41 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, 24 HH-60M medical evaluation helicopters, and associated support tasks.
CFM International reached 100 hours of flight testing for its Leap 1C engine on the Boeing 747. The turbofan engine is designed for the Comac C919 narrowbody and features new, lighter weight pylons that improve performance and decrease operating costs.
In mid-term elections on Tuesday, November 4th, Republicans gained the Senate majority and strengthened their majority in the House of Representatives. Specifically, Republicans replaced Democratic Senate incumbents in Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, South Dakota, West Virginia, Montana, and Alaska. Moreover, Republicans gained control of governor’s mansions in a number of states previously held by the Democratic Party including Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 28th, an unmanned Orbital Sciences Corp. rocket carrying cargo for the international space station endured a catastrophic failure moments after liftoff. Although there were no injuries, launch facilities suffered significant damage.